Monday, May 26, 2008

Another thing that keeps me up at night...

So I've been a little remiss on posting lately, but I promise I have a really good reason. I'm not normally inclined to post personal stuff on these blogs, but a lot of you folks already knew that my wife and I were expecting our first baby sometime around now. Last week, he decided to show himself to the world. Say hello to baby Liam:

The surprised look on his face is because I was telling him about the digital signage industry at the time -- the number of overlapping vendors, the lack of standards or formal metrics, the continual volume of hype fed into the channel. But fear not, a solution is at hand: he promises to start working on the problem as soon as he learns what his fingers are for.

Thanks for your patience, folks. Things on the blogs should get back to normal in a few weeks :)

- Bill

Monday, May 05, 2008

Giant's easySHOP gives self-checkout a new meaning

In what might be described as an evolution of the price-check kiosk, Giant Super Food Stores is testing out a new system called easySHOP which allows customers to bypass checkout lines altogether by scanning and bagging items as they pick them up in the aisles. As this article on Shopper Culture notes, the system
"lets people scan and bag items as they shop throughout the store, then pay at a self-service check-out kiosk and leave. In other words, groceries go into your cart from the shelves and don’t leave until you get to your car.

"easySHOP requires Giant’s BONUSCARD loyalty card. The system aims to empower customers by putting more control in their hands. Further, the perception is that scanning one’s own groceries is faster than having them scanned in a check-out line. Finally, the scanner lets people keep a rolling tally of their bill, helping them stay within their budget."

As self-checkout lanes have gotten only a mixed review so far, this program could potentially offer time savings that make early glitches and an unnatural-seeming change to shopping behavior worthwhile.

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